Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Power of Society

In P.T.I. many instances show the influence of society on many characters including Arnold. In the story, Mr. P is an old teacher who has been on the reservation for decades. He was the same teacher who taught his sister and probably knows as much about Arnold's family as he does. After becoming particular frustrated with the old books in the classroom, Arnold takes the book that his mother had once used. This pushes him to a point of great frustration with society, the world and everything. He acts rashly, throwing the book directly at Mr. P and breaking his nose. The repercussions of this are a long talk with Mr. P. At first, Arnold thinks he is going to get yelled yelled at but that is not what happens. Mr. P ends up telling Arnold that, "“If you stay on the rez, they’re going to kill you. I’m going to kill you. We’re all going to kill you” (Alexie 43). What Mr. P wants to tell Arnold is that society is impossible to beat in the reservation. He is suggesting that Arnold should leave the reservation so that he can seek out other opportunities without the impossible pressure that is placed by society on the rez. Arnold doesn't seem to particularly like this idea but maybe he will be swayed. He has had a tough life on the rez and as Mr. P sees it, going off the rez is the best route for a bright young mind like Arnold.